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Old Nov 23, 2003, 6:28 AM   #1
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Default NiMH batteries for A80

Hello! I've been lurking in this forum for a few days. Based on posts and images I've seen here, I placed an order for an A80 last evening. This will be my first digital camera.

In the User's Guide for the camera downloaded from the Canon US site, there are many statements that claim that only the Canon NiMH batteries offered as an accessory may be used with the A80.

While I know a bit about film camera photography, I don't know enough about digital cameras to judge whether this is a marketing ploy or not. I would very much like to have the group's opinion on this and recommendations for alternates to the Canon NiMH if possible.

TIA - tb
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Old Nov 23, 2003, 9:09 AM   #2
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It's basically either a marketing gimmick, or legalese protecting canon if you choose to go out and buy Supercheep(tm) brand batteries in your camera and they blow up, leak, or whatever. They can always say "See, its printed right in the manual, you must use our batteries. The warranty is void since you used Supercheep batteries."

Canon doesn't make batteries anyway. Just like they stick a Canon label on a Sandisk CF card, the Canon batteries are probably made by some major battery manufacturer.

Buy brand name batteries, get a decent charger that charges EACH cell seperately (each should have its own indicator LED), one that monitors battery voltage and temperature and NOT a 'dumb' charger that always charges for 1 hour regardless. You want the charger to stop or switch to trickle whenever the battery is full, not after a specified amount of time.

Key phrase to look for... if the charger instructions or package says "partially charged batteries will take less time to recharge than fully discharged ones" or something similar... it's a pretty good indications its a smart charger.

I use this one I bought at Wal-Mart for around $25. (the one at the top of the page).


It charges each cell, has a car and a wall outlet cord included, charges 4 AA, 4 AAA, or 1 9v battery, and has a switch to charge NiMH or NiCd if you still have some of those around. It charges them individually, and only until the individual cells are fully charged, then switches to a trickle current.

I'm not impressed by the 15 minute chargers... I feel its unnecessary to recharge in 15 minutes (buy two sets of batteries... a super fast recharge doesn't help you when you're out hiking or touring the zoo anyway)... plus the more current they force into the battery to charge it quicker, the shorter the batteries eventual life cycle.

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Old Nov 23, 2003, 10:45 AM   #3
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Thank you for a very complete reply to my questions, Kevin.

The Rayovac charger will be perfect for my needs. It will be particularly nice to be able to arrive at the trailhead after a 2-3 hour drive with a set or two of freshly charged batteries. I share your concerns about ďquick chargers;Ē the heat generated must be considerably greater than slower chargers and it is hard to believe that this heat will not shorten battery life to some extent.

Your point is well taken relative to Canonís motives for recommending their NiMH batteries and charger. So far, my impression of Canon is very positive. Their technical support people were very quick to respond to my request for a URL from which I could download the hardware and software PDFs for the A80: http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/...er/manual.html

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Old Nov 23, 2003, 2:37 PM   #4
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Old Nov 23, 2003, 6:58 PM   #5
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I have the Rayovac PS4 model. I have been using it for 2 years now. It is an excellent charger. I would also recommend Maya's and Energizer's smart chargers as well.

I have A whole host of Sanyo, RadioShack, Energizer and Rayovac AA and AAA NIMH batteries. All have worked wonderfully over the years. Never had any problems. I haven't bought alakaline AA and AAA batteries in about a year.

On the other hand I have had problems with other cheapo NIMH batteries. You get what you pay for. My experience with NIMH battereies is that any brand name is usually a good battery(in general). Foreign batteries with wierd names, lightweight and come with cheap plastic covers usually overheat and die quickly or don't fully charge. That is my experience with nobrand batteries.
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 8:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for two more great replies to my post.

flylow, the Great Battery Shootout link was very helpful. I havenít read all of it yet, but I intend to. I donít think Iíve visited the Imaging Resource site before, but Iíve added it to my Favorites folder.

KevinG and CanonGuru, the Rayovac PS4-B charger looks like a winner. The best price Iíve found locally is about $30. at Fryís Electronics. Iíll try Walmart later this week.

If I understand Rayovacís charger FAQs, it sounds like the charger would be okay for *any* brand name NiMH AA battery with a capacity of 1800 mAh or less that is *not* of the 15 minute charge type. Fryís stocks a four-pack of Rayovac batteries with the part number of NM715-4, but it doesnít look much like the image on their charger webpage. Would this be okay or can you suggest an alternative?

Thanks to all of you for your help, and thanks to Steve for making this forum possible. tb
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